Saturday, December 31, 2016

Vatican Scandals and Reforms of Pope Francis

The Vatican City, with St. Peter's Basilica, in Rome, Italy
Photo courtesy:

Pope Francis
Pope Francis, from the first day of his papacy, has been striving for bringing about reforms in the Vatican as well as in the Catholic Church. He has been trying to make us all focus on Jesus Christ -- his teachings and exemplary life -- which were full of pastoralism, love, simplicity, poverty, and non-pompous and non-judgmental nature. 

This article touches on some of the recent scandals in the Vatican and the Church, and how Pope Francis is going about reforms. It also mentions that scandals and sins were there both in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It further suggests some actions Catholic lay men and women (God created ordinary man and woman first and the clergy or the hierarchy came about much later to serve them spiritually and pastorally) can take to learn from them and help minimize the number and intensity of future scandals. 

For reading the full article, please click on the following:

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(Updated on Oct. 4, 2018)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Archbishop Cacucci of Southern Italy Cancels Commenmoration Mass for Canadian Mafia Figure

Map of Italy with the City of Bari (in the middle, lower right)
Map courtesy:

Archbishop Francesco Cacucci of Bari-Bitonto of southern Italy and a local police chief have forced the parish priest of Grumo Appula town to cancel a publicly-called commemoration Mass for a slain Canadian mafia figure Rocco Sollecito, 67. Grumo Appulia is the ancestral home of Mr. Sollecito.

The archbishop called it a "great scandal" and said it was inappropriate for someone who didn't live a Christian life, reports CBCnews. 

Pope Francis in June of 2014 excommunicated all Mafia from the Catholic Church and he is the first pope ever to do so. The mafia, an organization that depends on financial profits and gains made from serious criminal activities and does not hesitate to kill its opponents, has been in an unholy alliance for centuries with a section of priests and bishops in Italy and elsewhere. Mafia members are usually Roman Catholics, most of whom attend Masses, receive holy communion, make substantial financial contributions to the churches, and have their baptisms, confirmations and marriages in the church. The mafia are also called 'mobster' or 'mob.'

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Monday, December 26, 2016

SHE Canada: A Publication of Toronto

SHE Canada -- a bimonthly magazine -- from Toronto
This magazine deals with beauty, fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, food, health, travel and more. 

It's also available online at: SHE Magazine
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas to You All!

Image design by Jerome D'Costa

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The Quotation of the Week (December 25 - 31, 2016)

A quotation of Bertie Charles Forbes on 'Christmas,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Christmas lighting and decorations inside the Fairview Mall, Toronto: Nov. 18, 2016) © Jerome D'Costa

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Guerrilla Archiving Trying to Save Data from Climate Change Foes

Image design on 'Guerrilla Archiving' by Jerome D'Costa
'Guerrilla archiving' is a new concept that's being hastily implemented now. It is a quick and concerted collaborative effort of many in copying and saving data on environment,  global warming, and climate change from U.S. federal government servers to safe servers elsewhere in the U.S.A. and Canada for fear of this data being lost or willfully being deleted by climate change foes in the coming Donald Trump government, starting from January 20, 2017. 

Donald Trump in his election campaign speeches denied the climate change, terming it a hoax invented by the Chinese. He also in the mean time nominated a climate change denier as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under these circumstances, environmentalists and climate change researchers are worried about losing years of climate and environmental research for future generations. The guerrilla archiving is trying to counter this. 

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Monday, December 19, 2016

The Sign of the Time

The guardroom at the gate of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church at Tejgaon, Dhaka. Some children sitting there in spite of the hand-written sign: "It is prohibited to sit in this guardroom. Only the guard will sit here."
Photo © Jerome D'Costa (January 4, 2012)

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Quotation of the Week (December 18 - 24, 2016)

A quotation of Indira Gandhi on 'two kinds of people,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Play of lights in Toronto: November 14, 2016) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, December 17, 2016


The York University Magazine -- a quarterly alumni magazine -- from Toronto
It's a quarterly alumni magazine of the York University, Toronto. The Fall issue is available both in print and online editions, but the Winter and Spring/Summer issues are available online only. 

The printed issue is distributed to the University alumni, donors, faculty and staff, selected business and government officials, and educators. 

Email contact:

The online issues are available at: The York University Magazine

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Quotation of the Week (December 11 - 17, 2006)

A quotation of Oscar Wilde on 'forgiving one's enemies,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A stone-wall in Toronto: April 16, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Monday, December 5, 2016

RED: A Publication of Toronto

RED -- an annual Seneca College publication -- from Toronto
It's an annual alumni print magazine of the Seneca College of Toronto. "It brings together diverse stories from across the Seneca alumni community and connects the college's alumni to the current activities of the school's four campuses and numerous programs." 

It's also available online at: RED 

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Quotation of the Week (December 4 - 10, 2016)

A quotation of Cyrus H. K. Curtis on 'two kinds of men,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A building under construction in Toronto: May 9, 2015) © Jerome D'Costa

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Atheist Scientist Stephen Hawking Attends Pontifical Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting

Pope Francis meets with Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (seated) in the Vatican, Nov. 28, 2016
Photo courtesy: L'Osservatore Romano via Catholic News Agency

Stephen Hawking, the famous British astrophysicist and avowed atheist, participated in this year's annual meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican City. 

One may wonder how an atheist scientist can participate in the Pope's Academy of Sciences meeting and the conference on "Science and Sustainability."

It needs to be noted that religion or non-religion of a scientist is not a criterion for membership of this Academy, which has 80 members who are renowned scientists whose members are Catholics, Protestants, adherents of other religions, and atheists.  

To know more, please read the following:

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Donald Trump Win Spurs Hate Crimes and Racism in the U.S. and Canada

A racist graffiti on a softball dugout in Island Park of Wellsville of New York State, after Trump win -- Nov. 10, 2916
 Photo courtesy:

 A racist graffiti on a wall of St. David's Episcopal  Church at Bean Blossom of Indiana, U.S.A. -- Nov. 13, 2016
Photo courtesy: Twitter through

A post-Trump-win racist poster near Stan Wadlow Park on Woodbine And Cosburn Avenues in Toronto, Canada -- Nov. 14, 2016
Photo courtesy: Canada Post

The U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 brought about a surprise result -- Republican Party candidate Donald Trump won it by electoral college votes rather than people's votes. 

His chaotic personality became most visible in his electioneering rhetoric and behaviour. His sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, irreverence, and racism were a good fodder for the media. These spilled over to a section of the Americans with a similar bent.  As a result, when it became clear that he was the winning candidate, some of these people vent their long-held secret hatred and racist attitude through their hateful remarks, racial slurs, and graffitic vandalism on houses, churches, storefronts, vehicles, and playgrounds of children and adults. Neighbouring Canada was also not immune to this. The Pandora's Box that Donald Trump opened during his election campaign will have  long-lasting results. 

It is noteworthy that, in 2008, the first Black president Barack Obama's win also had brought about hateful and racist incidents against the blacks in the U.S.A. Those were not as intense and as widespread as this year's.

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